Thursday, December 27, 2018

...looking back before looking forward

I am an extremely driven person. Frankly, I could use a nap, but I’d spend the whole time ruminating about all the things I want to get done, so I’d neither nap nor get those things done. That’s how I ended up here, blogging today.

It occurred to me, that while it may be productive to set intentions for the coming year, in my case, it might be more productive to, first, take a look back to acknowledge and appreciate how far I’ve come and what I’ve accomplished in the past year.

I grew up in the era before everyone got a trophy just for showing up, so I tend not to count showing up as a big deal. The thing is – it is a big deal, and the reason I know that is that so few people do it.

We are living in an era when people do not want to be inconvenienced. I don’t know exactly when that happened, but I’d wager we have Steve Jobs to thank for it. God forbid we should have to wear a wristwatch to know the time or carry an actual camera.

Mailing a letter? Making a phone call? Writing a complete English sentence? Who can be bothered?!!

In this kind of world, it’s a big deal to show up. And because I’m now an “expert” on how to calm the hell down and be happy (more on that later), I would like to tell you the one thing that will grow your relationships, strengthen and deepen them, more than anything else you could do – show up – when it’s not convenient, when you don’t feel like it, when you’re tired. If you want to express how much someone means to you - be there. And if you can’t be there in person because there’s airfare involved, be in communication. Call, text, write, pray for, whatever.

I want to acknowledge the times I’ve been there for people this past year, as well as all those who have shown up for me in ways big and small. You have all made my life richer, and I hope you can say the same for me.

I am also going to take a self-congratulatory minute here to acknowledge completing and publishing a book! (I’m even going for the exclamation point!)

It is not an easy endeavor to write a book. In fact, I was fairly certain, after my first book took me ten years to complete, that I would never write another.

This is why you should never say never.

Publishing was also an adventure, and I would like to impart something I learned in the course of starting with one publisher and ending with another – always listen to your intuition. You cannot have a happy ending to an unhappy journey. Life isn’t a Hallmark movie. We have to make decisions that honor ourselves, even if it means we risk losing everything we think we wanted.

So that’s what I wish for you and me – that we make decisions that truly honor ourselves.

..and that brings me to transformation. If you are the same person you were this time a year ago, well, first, I’m so sorry. And second, what the hell?!

I am grateful for the ways in which I’ve changed, both from learning the hard way, and for the times I chose ease instead.

In order for us to be of greater service to the world, I think we must become more and more ourselves at our best. Now, we can choose the path of struggle and kicking and screaming (which I have historically been a master at and chosen repeatedly), or we can choose ease and joy and ways of showing up that honor our best. I’ll be honest – I’m a work in progress. I have never even seen the way of ease and joy as a viable option until recently. But it doesn’t matter how long it takes us to get there, it just matters that we get there, so I’m choosing it now.

That brings me back to the book. Optimist that I am, I wanted to impart every bit of wisdom I amassed in my life, just in case, you know, I got hit by a truck or something…which, coincidently, I have done and survived, so really, I might want to rethink my morbidity a bit.

How to Calm the Hell Down and Be Happy is out now and I would love it if you bought yourself a copy and took a looksee. (Buy on Amazon)

As for my New Year’s intentions, I’ll be blogging those in the next few days, along with an announcement about what my third book will be! (Again with the exclamation points!)

I hope you take a moment to reflect and appreciate your own 2018. I am so grateful you stopped by and chose to spend a few minutes with me.


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